Updated: Dec 29, 2021
The Body Ecology Diet recommended consuming other fermented foods, such as cultured vegetables. Like the coconut kefir, Mike was eager to experiment with these too. We wanted to keep it simple so Tula would be able to eat them, so we made chopped up cabbage and beets, added the cultured veggie starter, (with beneficial Lactobacillus plantarum) and let them sit. (There are cultured vegetable recipes and directions on the BED site and many recipes found online.) Our entire house smelled awful, but a week later when I tasted the vegetables, they were sour but delicious, in fact, almost addicting! Tula, on the other hand, winced at them and refused. We decided to juice these cultured vegetables, sweeten it with a little stevia, suck the juice from a syringe, and get them in her gut that way. We would need to wrestle with her while she wailed and tried to smack us as the red juice was foaming down the side of her mouth, tears rolling down MY face, but eventually we got it in. (Yes, this sounds horrible, but a little spoiler, this only lasted a short time before all that good bacteria changed her taste buds so that she happily and willingly took the syringe herself!)
Tula had another die-off from the effect of the fermented veggies. These die-offs were more intense due to the live, fermented foods, in addition to her improved diet. This was hard on Tula, and hard on us. Tula's doctor advised adding activated charcoal to help absorb the toxins and make the die-offs easier to handle, but this only made her even more constipated, so we discontinued the charcoal. (For some it may be helpful.)
When I was at my wit’s end, I would stop, close my eyes, and imagine Tula being at a high school dance, surrounded by friends, happy, smiling, and dancing. I would imagine her at her wedding. Mike and I, as the proud parents of this beautiful, glowing bride. I imagined until I smiled. Sometimes it was hard to conjure up these images, but as I got in the habit, it became easier to actually believe them. (Another spoiler, as a junior in high school, she just went to a dance with a group of friends and had a great time!)
Tula started to become much easier to reason with and could sit in a chair, squeeze the vegetable juice from the syringe herself, and have a small GF/CF cookie afterward. Each day I would make the cookie smaller until there was no cookie at all for her, as the sugars would defeat the purpose of starving off the yeast so that the good bacteria could flourish. We were so grateful that her tastebuds were changing and she became so much more reasonable!
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